8 Clever Ways to Assess Your Homeschooler’s Progress
Are you wanting to check in on your child’s progress to make sure they are learning and moving in the right direction? If so, today I’m going to share some clever ways to assess your homeschooler’s progress.
Assessments don’t need to be a daunting task. If the purpose is to check your kid’s progress, there are multiple ways that do this. And sometimes, you can get clever and creative enough, to not even be noticed by your kids.
Let’s take a look at some of these assessment ideas you can use to check-in on your homeschooler’s progress.
Clever Ways to Assess Your Homeschooler’s Progress
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1. Listen to Your Kid’s Conversations & Play
A lot of times, kids will process what they are learning through their conversations and their play. I cannot count how many times our kids have given me indications of their progress simply by listening to what they saying.
Are your kids reenacting a war? Are they trying new vocabulary? Did they relay to a friend or family member a historical event in sequence?
These are all examples of things your kids are learning. So if your kids are talking, and you are listening, don’t miss out on this clever yet simple way to assess your homeschooler’s progress.
2. Ask Oral Review Questions to Assess Your Homeschooler’s Progress
Testing does not always have to be in written form. And when you homeschool, its doesn’t even need to be during school hours.
I like to ask oral review questions as more of a conversation starter and during times my kids don’t feel like I’m drilling them with a quiz.
For example, at dinner, I might say to my daughter, “Why don’t you tell your dad about the chapter you read today about the Civil War?” Or in the car, “Can you tell me what kind of clouds those are?” Or in the kitchen, “Do you remember how many teaspoons are in a tablespoon?” Oral assessment questions can be woven into everyday life and give you a really good opportunity to see what your kids know.
Most kids love to share what they know, therefore, giving them opportunities to share in a casual setting is a fantastic (and clever) way to assess your homeschooler’s progress.
3. Keep a Progress Portfolio of Your Homeschooler’s Progress
Another terrific way to keep track of your homeschooler’s progress is to keep a progress portfolio. I have a 3-ring, 2-inch binder for the year with tabs in it for each of my kids. Throughout the school year, I put samples of all their subjects in this notebook.
At the top of each sample, I write the date and their name. This helps me to keep track of the time gaps between samples and to really track their growth.
Some of the items that I like to include in my progress binder are: completed copywork, pages from their math book, poems, spelling lists, essays, art, as well as, pictures of projects and experiments.
By the end of the year, the binder looks like a scrapbook of sorts, and we all enjoy looking through it and seeing how much each child has learned and grown over the past year.
4. Utilize Narration & Summaries
Getting your kids into the habit of narration and giving you summaries of what they’ve read or experienced is another way to check your homeschooler’s progress.
Before kids can even write, they learn to organize their thoughts and sequence their events in a way that makes sense to their listeners.
Can your kids relay what they’ve read? Can they sequence the events accurately? Do they remember details? Can they stay with a train of thought?
While narration is a great practice for homeschool it is always an effective way to assess what your kids have retained and can translate back to you.
*Resource Note: I learned a lot about narration from the book Know and Tell by Karen Glass. (Amazon Affiliate Link)
5. Do Written Reports to Assess Your Homeschooler’s Progress
If you have a student who is a writer, have them give you a written report. If they are younger, trying giving them a simple writing prompt that will help to assess their progress.
An example of a writing prompt for younger kids might be: “Using complete sentences, tell me how to make chocolate chip cookies.” Or for your high schooler, “Write two pages detailing the events leading up to the Revolutionary War.”
A written report will give you a ton of information about what your kids are learning, as well as, where they are on their writing, spelling, and vocabulary skills as well.
6. Try a Final Project for Homeschool Assessment
If your kids are very hands-on, a final project might be the best way for you to capture the progress your homeschooler has made.
Whether you have your kids make a board game, a 3-D model, or a video, project-based assessments are a fun way to go.
Need some ideas? Check out these 100+ Final Project Ideas.
7. Do a Flashcard Homeschool Assessment
Along with regular practice or review, flashcards can also be used to check your student’s progress. These can be handmade flashcards or prepackaged ones for certain subjects or topics.
To make a flashcard assessment more fun, you could set a timer and see how many correct “points” they can get before the timer goes off. Then reward them with chocolate chips or other small incentive for every answer they got right.
8. Administer Homeschool & Standardized Testing
And lastly, written tests and quizzes are always an option as well. From handwritten quizzes and curriculum provided assessments, to standardized testing there are tons of written diagnostic test options for you to explore.
Homeschool Assessments Q & A
1. Do homeschoolers have to take state standardized tests?
Each state in the US has different requirements for assessment and standardized testing for homeschool families. Check the hslda.org website to learn the laws that are specific to your state.
2. What are some examples of project-based assessments?
Some examples of project-based assessments include: STEM projects, art displays, 3-D models, digital creations, field trips, interviews, community services, and research projects.
3. What things can be included in a homeschool portfolio?
Here are some things that can be included in a homeschool portfolio: Table of contents, learning goals, work samples, pictures, tracking sheets, and records.